Sammy Swindell was untouchable Saturday night in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series feature at Eldora Speedway. Using what they learned from winning a Preliminary Feature and sitting on the pole in the main event when the series raced at Eldora...
Sammy Swindell was untouchable Saturday night in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series feature at Eldora Speedway.
Using what they learned from winning a Preliminary Feature and sitting on the pole in the main event when the series raced at Eldora earlier this season, Swindell and car owner Guy Forbrook had a setup and horsepower that launched the car on restarts and allowed it to fly along the cushion, just inches off the speedway's intimidating concrete wall in each turn.
Whether he was out front or in traffic, Swindell kept his momentum for all 30 laps to pick up his second feature victory as the Outlaws concluded their first major swing through the East, a trip that included 10 races in 16 days in four states.
Following Swindell to the checkered flag were Chad Kemenah, Tim Kaeding, Danny Lasoski, Brooke Tatnell and points leader Steve Kinser, who earlier in the day was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame.
Swindell started the $10,000-to-win feature on the pole and was trying to hold off an early charge from fast-qualifier Kraig Kinser on Lap 7 when the lapped car of Travis Rilat made contact with Kinser, sending Kinser and Rilat to the work area and eventually the rear of the field.
From that point, Swindell simply drove off with the lead. Not even a red flag for fuel just past the halfway point or a red flag for a flipped car with three laps to go could slow Swindell. In fact, with as strong as his car was, the cautions seemed to work in Swindell's favor. After the first red flag, several racers who had been slowly closing the gap to Swindell began to fade. Then later with lapped cars between him and Kemenah, Swindell easily ran out to the lead unchallenged on each restart, including on the final one on a green-white-checkered finish.
"The car felt real good," said Swindell, who won the Outlaws feature last Saturday at Hagerstown Speedway. "[Guy Forbrook] asked me after warm-ups what I wanted to do to it and I said, 'Just run it.' We worked on the motor a little bit because the air was a lot different, but really we unloaded the car like we ran last time and other than changing the rear tires, we didn't do anything.
"This place is all about keeping up your momentum and being able to run up next to the fence, keep the car straight, keep the tires under it. You've got to be patient, but you got to be aggressive. You've got to go, but you can't go too hard and use up the car and the tires. It seemed like on the restarts, I couldn't believe how good it could run right through the middle. -- I couldn't believe how good it was every time we took off. The first four laps I couldn't even spin the tires. I just ran around there like we were qualifying. It made it really easy."
For Kemenah, the three-time and defending champion with the All Star Circuit of Champions Series, a second-place finish wraps up a strong run with the Outlaws during the past week. He also had a top-10 finish Friday night at Sharon Speedway and was the fast qualifier Wednesday at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park.
"I actually got better after that [open] red," Kemenah said. "My brother came out and did a few things to the racecar. I didn't want to see that last caution. I felt I was getting a little bit better on the long run, but [Swindell's] got so many laps here and he doesn't make too many mistakes when you give him a cushion to lean on. We're really happy with second. We had some decent runs with these guys this week and I just like to come and race with them."
Kaeding was almost expected to pull off another magical run at Eldora. In April, he earned two top-five finishes after starting deep in the field. On Saturday, he started 15th and cracked the top five on the restart after the open red flag on Lap 17. He shot around Lasoski for third four laps later, but a red flag came out when Craig Dollansky flipped just short of the flagstand with three laps to go and a caution waved for Kenny Jacobs going into the wall in Turn 4 on the white-flag lap. With worn tires, Kaeding didn't have much left for Kemenah on either restart.
"I love this place," said Kaeding, whose run in only his fourth race at Eldora moves him back into the top 10 in points. "I don't know what it is about it. We came here last year and ran with the All-Stars once and I followed Jac Haudenschild around for about 25 laps and I learned how to run this place probably better than a lot of these guys. To be able to come here only for my fourth time is a feat within itself. I've got to thank my crew, Davey Whitworth, Jeff McNally, everybody that's back here helping us, especially Dennis and Theresa Roth for giving me the opportunity to do this.
"I think that last caution hurt us. I think we might have been able to get Chad if it wouldn't have come down to that last yellow. We didn't have any tire left. I ran the living daylights out of the thing. If we could actually start in the top three rows here, I think we'll be good."
Lasoski's fourth-place run was his best since he finished third in the feature last month at Williams Grove, which also is half-mile in distance but very different in shape.
"I just seem to like these big, fast half-miles," said Lasoski, who is gearing up for a race June 22 at Missouri State Fair Speedway that will benefit the Michael Ross Memorial Foundation. "It seems to make these Mopars really run good. I was going as fast as I wanted to go because my motor was faster than I was. We're just excited to be somewhat close to the front and we'll keep building off of that."
In the Stacker 2® Dash, Sammy Swindell went to the high side and drove off with the victory as Kraig Kinser slid into second followed by Brian Paulus, Kenny Jacobs, Shane Stewart and Butch Schroeder.
In the second Dash, Chad Kemenah started on the outside pole and raced to the checkered flag followed by Danny Lasoski, Steve Kinser, Brooke Tatnell, Cody Geldart and Randy Hannagan.
In the B-main, Craig Dollansky charged into the lead as Paul McMahan quickly jumped from sixth to second as Terry McCarl and Tim Kaeding earned the final transfer spots to the main event.
In the first heat, Tim Shaffer grabbed the lead in Turn 1 with Steve Kinser, Kraig Kinser and Sammy Swindell in tow on the high side of the track. Chad Kemenah slipped past Donny Schatz to grab the final transfer spot.
Kevin Swindell continued to build on a string of strong runs with the Outlaws by picking up the victory in the second heat as Danny Lasoski, Travis Rilat, Kenny Jacobs and Brian Paulus also reached the feature.
"We've got stuff running a little better and we're coming back to places for the second time and we know what we've done before and we're making advances on it," said Swindell, who had a rough first run at Eldora in April. "We had a lot of struggles there and this shows it didn't bother me."
Jason Sides, who led the first 17 laps Friday night at Sharon Speedway, was fast once again in qualifying and led flag-to-flag in the third heat ahead of Friday night winner Jason Meyers, Brooke Tatnell, Joey Saldana and Cody Geldart, who has been impressive in racing against the Outlaws in the past four races.
"[At Sharon], the car was really good, I don't really know what happened with the motor," Sides said. "Tonight we didn't qualify so well, but we got a heat race win so we'll try to improve from there."
Brandon Wimmer celebrated his high school graduation by earning a victory in the fourth heat ahead of Jeremy Campbell, Randy Hannagan, Shane Stewart and Butch Schroeder.
"Any time you can go out and win race it's great," Wimmer said. "We've been struggling pretty bad. This helps build our confidence up a little bit better. It always helps to go out and win something.
Kraig Kinser paced the 37-car field in time trials with a lap around the half-mile oval in 13.347 seconds at 134.862 mph. Craig Dollansky established track record of 12.707 seconds on April 13, 2002. Kinser also set quick time for the A-feature when the Outlaws raced April 9 at Eldora.
"We got a pretty good draw and a good setup for this place," Kinser said. "It's definitely a fun place. It can be miserable when you're not dialed in, but no matter what when you come to Eldora it's pretty fun altogether. The speed around here, just how slick and tricky the track is. The more laps you get, the more comfortable you feel here, the better you are. It's just a great track to drive on."
The World of Outlaws Sprint Series invades I-96 Speedway Thursday in Lake Odessa, Mich., and Sheboygan County Fair Park Saturday in Plymouth, Wis. Outlaws action in June includes events June 14 at Kokomo Speedway, June 17-18 at Eagle Raceway, June 22 at Missouri State Fair Speedway, June 24-25 at Knoxville Raceway and June 28 at Huset's Speedway.
At 8 p.m. ET on June 8, The Outdoor Channel will broadcast all the action from last Thursday and Friday's race at Williams Grove. The race Wednesday from Rolling Wheels Raceway Park will air on The Outdoor Channel at 8 p.m. on June 15 and the race Saturday from Eldora Speedway will air on The Outdoor Channel at 8 p.m on June 22.